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2 charged with murder in store clerk’s killing

By Jason Evans Staff Reporter jevans@thepccourier.com EASLEY — Two Greenville County men are charged with murder in the December shooting More »

County breaks ground on Madden Bridge Park

By Jason Evans Staff Reporter jevans@thepccourier.com CENTRAL — Pickens County officials broke ground on the county’s latest park Tuesday morning, More »

Police: Officer smuggled drugs, phones into jail

PICKENS — A Pickens County Detention Center officer has been fired and now faces criminal charges after authorities allege he More »

Local athletes sign with colleges

By Bru Nimmons Staff Reporter bnimmons@thepccourier.com COUNTY — National Signing Day was held on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and the day More »

Old pro joins the Courier family

Hello, Pickens County! I’m Ron Barnett, and I’m the newest contributor to the Courier, Pickens County’s only locally owned newspaper. More »

Give the gift of healing this year

The gift of massage treats recipients to relaxation and the healing power of therapy and can serve as an escape More »

 

2 charged with murder in store clerk’s killing

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Two Greenville County men are charged with murder in the December shooting death of an Easley convenience store employee.

TyChristian Ladson, 19, and Quinton Maurice Collins, 28, are both charged with murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with the death of Stacey Branham, Easley Police detective Brandon Liner announced during a news conference on Feb. 6.

Ladson and Collins were arrested on Tuesday and are being held at the Easley

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County breaks ground on Madden Bridge Park

Above, Pickens County officials broke ground on Madden Bridge Park on Tuesday morning. Pictured, from left, are Planning Commissioner Bill Cato, County Councilman Trey Whitehurst, County Councilman Chris Bowers, County Councilman Ensley Feemster and Wes Hulsey, president and CEO of Hulsey McCormick and Wallace.
Jason Evans/Courier

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

CENTRAL — Pickens County officials broke ground on the county’s latest park Tuesday morning, a project long in the making.

The Madden Bridge Park is the second of two park projects being funded by the same source — nearly $1.5 million from the Lake Hartwell Natural Resource Damages Settlement, which compensates for chemicals discharged into the Twelve Mile River by the Sangamo plant in Pickens for more than 2

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Police: Officer smuggled drugs, phones into jail

PICKENS — A Pickens County Detention Center officer has been fired and now faces criminal charges after authorities allege he provided drugs, cellphones and tobacco to inmates while working at the jail.

Zachary Keith Blanton, 23, was arrested last week by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents, according to a news release from SLED spokesman Thom Berry. He is charged with misconduct in office and furnishing contraband to prisoners.

Blanton was initially held at the Oconee County Detention Center pending his arraignment on the SLED charges before a Pickens County magistrate.

Pickens County Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said in a news release Blanton was terminated late on the night of Feb. 6 for violating sheriff’s office policies and

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Council agrees to fund school board election

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens County Council approved funding for a special school board election next month, but several members expressed anger and frustration over the situation that led to the election being needed.

Council approved the funding request 5-1, with Councilman Chris Bowers opposing.

On Nov. 19, the Pickens County Board of Voter Registration and Elections nullified the District 7 election after it found that a protest lodged by candidate Alice Hendricks Vander Linden following the Nov. 6 election met the burden of proof.

Vander Linden’s attorney presented evidence that more than 100 voters in the district were given paper failsafe ballots that did not list the school board race. The failsafe ballots were issued after programming issues forced voting

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Landfill may reach capacity next year

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

EASLEY — Pickens County Council will likely need to make a decision on the future of the county’s construction and demolition debris landfill sooner rather than later.

“Our tonnage at the landfill is at all-time high,” county administrator Gerald Wilson told county council members recently. “We’ve seen an increase of 20 to 25 percent over the last year, which means our capacity is shrinking faster than we thought it would originally.”

Wilson discussed the landfill issue during council’s recent planning retreat in

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Local athletes sign with colleges

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

bnimmons@thepccourier.com

COUNTY — National Signing Day was held on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and the day saw some of Pickens County’s top student-athletes sign to continue their playing careers at the next level.

Pickens High School North-South all-star Braden Gravely signed with North Greenville University to continue his playing career on the gridiron. The Blue Flame sent two softball standouts to the next level as well, as Jade Hendricks and Beth Hyatt signed with Allen University and Brevard College, respectively.

Pickens also had multiple athletes sign during the early signing period, with the Lady Blue Flame golf squad sending two players into the collegiate ranks, as sisters Rachel and Sarah Page signed with Southern Wesleyan University. Both were members of a Pickens golf team that finished second in the Class 4A state tournament, and Rachel was named to the All-State team. Pickens volleyball also sent two players onto the next level coming off a successful season in which the Flame finished as state runners-up in Class 4A. Abby

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Easley OKs mobile home park changes

EASLEY — Easley City Council approved an amendment to the portion of its zoning ordinance concerning manufactured home parks on first reading Monday night.

“Requests were brought to council for them to look at manufactured home parks within the city and look at the restrictions that are placed on them,” city administrator Stephen Steese said.

The amendments place stipulations on park owners who remove an existing manufactured home and replace it.

The city’s planning commission worked on the amendment to the zoning ordinance regarding General Residential 1 zoning, “the only place where manufactured homes are allowed,” Steese said.

“The major changes were, it did change the minimum size for a manufactured home park requirements,” he said. “Any new ones, it went from 2 acres to 5 acres.”

The amendment also changes the minimum lot size allowed to 6,000 square feet.

It also requires the tongue, tow structures and the tires be removed from a

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Community service projects Saturday

PICKENS — Rescheduled from last month’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, a variety of community service projects are planned around Pickens from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Organized by Boy Scout Troop 51, the Pickens Lions Club and AFTA, the projects will include litter pick-up along S.C. Highway 8 and the Doodle Trail, in addition to other projects.

Volunteers are invited to meet at Legacy Square at 1 p.m. for coordination of teams and location assignments. Those interested are urged to wear warm clothes and bring work gloves and trash pickers. All other supplies will be provided.

 

Conservative group set to meet next week

PICKENS — Conservatives of the Upstate’s monthly organizational meeting, led by leadership team Johnnelle Raines, Steve Haynie and Kathy Nix, will be taking place in the meeting room at the rear of Pizza Inn in Pickens at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The group will continue its discussions about goals going forward to keep Pickens County the most conservative county in South Carolina.

For more information, visit conservativesoftheupstate.com.

 

Old pro joins the Courier family

Hello, Pickens County!

I’m Ron Barnett, and I’m the newest contributor to the Courier, Pickens County’s only locally owned newspaper.

Some of you may know me. For one thing, I’ve lived here most of my life and you could have seen me around Clemson, where I grew up and went to school, or run into me at the grocery store in Easley, where I live now.

Or if you’re a local government gadfly, you may have even seen me at a meeting of the Pickens County Council or school board or one of the city councils in the county.

I was a reporter or editor at The Greenville News for 29 years. Until last month. That’s when I entered into my Golden Age, in which I don’t have to get


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